Los Angeles

Richard Poole

Paideia Gallery

Poole is concerned with the qualities experi­enced by “the one” as part of “the many.” He structures his canvases of people thronging together by silhouet­ting individual shapes into tiers of on­lookers, while playing the specific ges­tures of privately occupied persons as counter motifs to the generalized move­ment of a crowd. A mother turning to admonish her child or a man stopping to stare at a bather assume more than anecdotal significance when seen as asides from the body politic. Whether painting pedestrians straining toward three silent horsemen or groups of women under a grove of trees, Poole seems to pursue the elusive dignity of choric repetition. He has chosen to re­strict his color to shades of vermilion or ochre with black and his spatial manipulations to overlapping planes accented by diagonal color passages. The painter’s stringent successes should have afforded him the courage to attempt much more in terms of tonal and edge qualities. Rather than settling complacently into conventionalized vis­ual solutions as some of the more recent works indicate, Poole should risk a “big failure” redolent with impossibilities.

Rosalind G. Wholden